Been checking out several activities that I could do for the holy week and my options were: beach bumming in Puerto Galera (which I've already visited twice), visit the Cutud Lenten Rites in San Pedro, Pampanga and go on a Visita Iglesia in Quezon. I chose the last option because I haven't been to Quezon and the chance to see the Kamay ni Hesus Shrine in Lucban, Quezon was an added bonus. And so I dragged my good old friend Jeanne to go with me to Quezon. Being a newbie traveler, I was still not good with itineraries so I scouted for cheap day tour packages online. The cheapest that I found was from J8 Travel Services. If I remember it right, it's Php700 per person so it's already a good deal since we will be going to different churches in Quezon for the whole day. This was our itinerary:
Nuestra Senora de Candelaria (Candelaria)
Saint Francis of Assisi Parish Church (Sariaya)
St. Michael the Archangel Parish (Tayabas)
Kamay Ni Hesus Pilgrimage, San Isidore Parish (Lucban)
Traffic in Quezon was horrendous and we were already behind our schedule. Good thing my travel buddy talks a lot so the whole trip was really not that boring. And so after a few delays and a lot of chitchat, we reached our first stop, Nuestra Senora de Candelaria in Candelaria. The structure of the church is relatively new.
The second stop was Saint Francis of Assisi Parish Church in Sariaya. The church seems to be newly painted which makes it look modern although it was built in the 18th century.
The third stop was St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Tayabas. It is renowned for having the shape of a key but I really didn't notice it.
Our last stop was at Kamay Ni Hesus Healing Shrine in Lucban, a big compound developed by supporters of Fr. Joey Faller, famous healing priest.
This place has been visited by a lot of devotees and most of them can attest that they have received the power of healing. Even my mom and my sister were saying that they've felt some kind of warm energy flowing through Fr. Faller's hands when they first went here. Unfortunately, there were so many people at the chapel so we just chose to do our own penitence and climb the stations of the cross.
Considering Jeanne's physical condition, I asked her first if she was willing to take the 292 steps towards the top and she was game for it without any hesitation. And up we go. On our way to the top, we saw a woman in her 20's wearing some kind of glass stilettos and just wondered how the hell was she able to climb those stairs! I even remembered Jeanne saying "sosyal ni ate, nakaheels!". A few stops and pictures here and there and whataya know, we've reached the top of the shrine.
The view at the top was just breathtaking. You could almost see the entire Quezon province and even Mt. Banahaw.
At the foot of the shrine, there were a lot people offering prayers. It was a very tiring climb to the top and it took a lot of perseverance to do it. Overall, it feels great that we were able to get to the shrine safely.
I was glad that I went to Quezon and although I didn't get to see Fr. Faller, still the spiritual experience was there and to have my good old friend with me on this journey is an added bonus. Special thanks to my travel buddy Jeanne for tagging along with me on this trip!